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For many of us Thanksgiving and Christmas rank as our favorite time of the year, but it can also be the busiest. A couple years ago I wrote about slowing down and making memories instead of letting the season slip past in a blur.

The whole point of season remember what we're thankful for and giving to others can get lost in the midst of school plays, family, traveling, cooking, cleaning, fill in your to-do list here. 

Teaching our kids to write thank you notes may seem like one more thing on the to do list, but I would suggest that it's a great way to wrap up this season of giving and thanks.  So perhaps after the wrapping paper has settled, stay in your pjs one morning, pull out the note cards, crayons, pencils and markers and stop to remember what we've all been given this season and say thank you.

The Anatomy of a Thank You Card

And if you're like me, I needed a bit of a primer on thank you note etiquette. These are the pieces that are traditionally included in a thank you note, but don't let this stop your kids from being creative and expressing their thanks in their own unique way. 

1. Date.

The date is added in the top right hand corner. This is nice to have if you send this to a family member who saves all the cards they're sent. (I'm guilty.)

2. Salutation.

Dear _____, Hey you, Hello! It doesn't have to be overly formal.

3. Thank you.

This first sentence or two is for thanking the person for the gift they received.

4. Explanation.

These couple sentences are for explaining how they feel about the gift. If your kids don't love it, don't have them say they love it, but do mention how it made them feel that the person spent time to think of them. If it's their favorite color or superhero point that out too.

5. Tie it Back to the Giver

One more sentence or two to tie the gift back to the giver. I like to think of it as an appreciation of how the gift represents the giver.

6. Closing / Valediction

The letter closes with a "Thanks again!" or "Sincerely," and the sender's name.

Bonus: How to Address an Envelope

I needed a refresher on this piece as well.

1. Return Address.

This is where your address belongs and where the mail is returned if the receiver's address is inaccurate.

2. Address.

This is the receiver's address.

3. Stamp.

The stamp is added into the top right hand corner. Which for demonstration purposes, I drew.

Carolyn Kruger


Carolyn is an editor and promotions manager for ParentSavvy. She has enjoyed seeing the site grow from its infancy to its toddler stage. (And, yes, there have been growing pains in the whole process.) Carolyn was born and raised in Omaha and is thankful that such a unique site calls Omaha home. When not editing content, Carolyn can be found with her family and friends scouring local neighborhoods for untasted restaurants or exploring new stories at the movie theater. ...

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